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One of the really interesting aspects of writing BECOMING BONNIE was how both Bonnie and Clyde were musically inclined. Clyde played both the guitar and the saxophone (the later found in the back of the car they were killed in.) And, Bonnie was a singer, having sung in her church's choir.
Bonnie was also known for her poetry. So taking into account their musical abilities and Bonnie's love of words, I thought it'd be really fun to include an original song in the novel, where Bonnie and Clyde write each verse as their story together grows and unravels.
And, here's the scene where I began their song 🎶
Clyde’s head tilts down, and he looks up at me from under his lashes. “I started this here song a while ago, but she ain’t done,” he says. “Was hoping you’d help me finish her.”
His fingertips slide down the strings once, letting the soft sound vibrate ’round us. “You’ll see.”
He goes back for more, a dark melody forming with each stroke, and moistens his lips. Clyde says, more than sings, “Death is a five-letter word, with a five- finger clutch.” His head stays down, his jaw relaxed, eyes closed. “It cornered him, pitting him against the bigger man . . . By the throat, edging closer, nearing Death’s final touch.”
The rhythm quickens, the beat an unexpected surprise.
“Then there she was, light in the dark, defying Death’s plan . . . She stared it down, held on tight, fired off a shot all her own . . . Ohh”—he draws out the word, as if taunting Death—“Oh, oh, oh, death for the boy has been postponed.”
Clyde’s fingers shift to a higher pitch on the guitar. He smirks and sings from the corner of his mouth, “’Cause lean closer, listen close . . . How the story ends, no one knows . . . But one thing’s clear, you’ll see . . . Bonnie and Clyde, meant to be, alive and free.”
That last line, that last note hangs between us.
I forget how to breathe.
“That’s all I got for now,” Clyde says softly. “Thought maybe we could do the next verse together.”
“Together?” I wring my hands, staring into the eyes of Clyde Barrow, the criminal, the charmer, the . . . boy who wrote me a doggone song to show me how he cares.
“Yeah, Bonnie. You and me. What do you say?”
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and I hope you'll download your copy of BECOMING BONNIE now -- for only $1.99!